Saturday, August 4, 2012

Come to find out, Cardiff is in Wales, y'all: Olympics 2012

     Post from the good ole US of A! I'm not entirely sure what my emotions are right now. I'm so happy to be back and give you a list of things that I'm excited about having or doing. BUT I really didn't want to leave Oxford. Anywho, once I process my emotions I can write more about it. For now, I'll fill y'all in on our Olympic experience! 
     The title of this post comes from the fact that we were in Cardiff for over an hour before Kasey figured out that Cardiff was in Wales. Amanda and I were in shock that we made a journey to another country and Kasey wasn't aware. I mean, they speak another language. There are signs all over the place. It was a priceless moment, needless to say.
     We got tickets for the Women's Soccer Quarterfinals in Cardiff that took place yesterday. It seems like weeks ago now! The match was Japan vs Brazil and the tickets were only £20! We caught the 12:30 train to Cardiff after practically running to the train station. Our ducks were barely in a row that morning! We arrived in Cardiff around 2:30 and the game didn't start until 5. All three of us were pretty hungry, so we grabbed some food at the Prince of Wales, where Emma and I watched the Opening Ceremony. Millennium Stadium is almost literally across the street, and we weren't in a huge rush. After eating, we started to walk around to locate will call to pick up our tickets. Of course, we ended up on the wrong end of the stadium on the first attempt.
     Once we got to the other side, we stopped at the Olympic store set up outside of the stadium. I'm really glad we stopped when we did, because they were already running low or out of some sizes and shirts. One thing that I had to get was an Olympic pin. This came from our family visit to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. I've never had a collection of anything, except for Olympic pins. I had an official hat and would put all of the pins that I collected throughout the time that I was there. I also loved to trade my pins with other Olympic fans. The memories from that are some of the most vivid I have from that experience. My hat is full, heavy and unwearable, but I love all the memories it holds! SO I got my official pin for Olympics 2012, and it will promptly go on my hat when I get home! I also got Dad and I a t-shirt. Everything was SO expensive, I gained a new appreciation for how much my parents spent to make Atlanta 1996 so special for me!
      After stocking up on pins and t-shirts, we found will call and got our tickets! By that time, it was time to go through security and get to our seats! Security for the Olympics has been pretty tight and this match was no exception. Kasey and Amanda had to have their bags searched and double bagged, and we all had to be patted down. Once inside, we found out that the game was no where sold out. That meant that all of the upper level, cheap seats were bumped down a tier! This meant that we had GREAT seats! We were on the second tier, almost dead center! I think we were all expecting to be at the very top of the nosebleed section. We could even hear the players talking to their teammates!
      The excitement for the game was unreal. The atmosphere was great and enthusiastic. There were lots of people from both Japan and Brazil as well Britain. Tickets are super cheap for British people, and that's how we got such a good deal! We were able to use our address at Worcester. Anyway, it was really fun to see everyone wearing team colors and excited on a national level. I really loved it! 
      The game was so much fun, even without knowing much about soccer! I understood what was going on for the most part. By the end, I was even able to spot bad plays worthy of a penalty! The elation when someone made a goal was awesome! The game lasted about an hour and 45 minutes. We left when regulation time was completed and additional time started because we were really worried about catching a train back. Japan won 2-0! A couple nights before, two guys from our group went to Cardiff for a men's match and were unable to catch a train back that night because there were so many people! They spent the night in a 24-hour casino and caught the first train out the next morning at 5:00am. They made it back to Oxford just as breakfast was being served. Luckily, women's soccer is not as popular so we didn't have to fight as big of a crowd. We were at the front of the line, but I'm sure if we had left much later we wouldn't have made the first few trains out! We were also worried because our bus left Oxford at 5:00am and we couldn't afford to miss that!
      We made it back to Oxford around 9:30 and I had to get to packing. It was definitely depressing but I was still on an Olympic high! I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to go. It was so much fun and was a great way to cap off the trip. Talk about ending on a high note! I really loved it!

In front of Millennium Stadium!

My ticket!

Presentation of the teams and their flags

We were so close!
Stolen from Amanda: All three of us inside the stadium!

Stolen from Amanda:The field!

Stolen from Amanda: All three of us outside of Millennium Stadium

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That is awesome!!! So glad you are back home safe and sound! Can't wait to see you!